In a region where too many bands are as cookie-cutter as the tract homes, a good ska band is like a refreshing oasis in a desert of punk/metal sameness.
Like the 7-piece Fontana ska en espanol outfit Cerebro Negro, who opt for cool skipity beats that conjure up an insatiable urge to shake your tail instead of blasting out pointless aggression. And they keep it real, having appeared on live TV, but yet they’re still up enough to get down by providing the skanking soundtrack to backyard parties in LA and the IE.
The band also avoid the tragic cliché of injecting pop-punk patter that other ska bands haven’t been able to avoid since the late-‘90s. Instead, Cerebro Negro offers a crunchier guitar sound to punctuate their usually unsullied true-to-roots tone and clean brass sound. The key word being punctuate; distorted guitar riffs don’t carry their songs, because they don’t need to. Instead, dancy drumbeats and spot-on brass take care of that.
Even without the pop-punk intonations, the band packs a wallop into each song that’ll keep even the Fred Perry-wearing, Vespa-riding, Desmond Dekker-record-collecting ska purists bopping the night away.
Attention, Riverside/San Bernardino County bands and musicians (you too, Claremont, La Verne and Pomona)! Mail your CDs and tapes (along with your vital contact info, plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to: Band of the Week, IE Weekly, 2175 Sampson Ave., Ste. 118, Corona, CA 92879. Or be lazy and e-mail us your MySpace page link to firstname.lastname@example.org.